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‘Volk is just different’, Adesanya betting the house on Volkanovski to beat Makhachev

Israel Adesanya backs teammate Alexander Volkanovski to beat Islam Makhachev at UFC 284.

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Alexander Volkanovski fist bumps teammate Israel Adesanya during a UFC 276 promo in Australia.
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images for UFC

Comradery and friendship aside, Israel Adesanya thinks teammate Alexader Volkanovski is just built differently than the rest.

That’s why, ahead of Volkanovski’s jump to lightweight, ‘The Last Stylebender’ is picking the long-reigning featherweight king to usurp Islam Makhachev in their highly-anticipated champ vs. champ super-fight at UFC 284.

Adesanya is so confident in Volk’s ability to attain double-champ status that he is not only picking his teammate to win but would also bet the house on him securing the victory on Feb. 12.

“Volk used to be a fat guy. Like, a big boy, brawley, played rugby. When you walk around with that kind of body mass for years, you develop a different kind of muscle density,” Adesanya said during a recent appearance on the FLAGRANT podcast (h/t MMA News). “Even with Volk, I’ve tried to hold him down. I’m not the greatest wrestler, but even with my frame and leverage, it’s hard. He finds his way back up. (He’s) a crafty veteran. His inside leg kick, his jabs, his hand control; all that sh*t, he’s crafty.”

“Islam is great. These Dagi boys, they know what they’re doing… But I truly, gun to my head, could bet my whole house on him. Volk is just different,” he added. “Volk is the kind of guy — even when he cuts weight, the amount he cuts, for him to have the cardio he has in the later rounds… it’s mind-blowing. The man’s different.”

UFC 284, which features Makhachev vs. Volkanvski as the main event, is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12, 2023, at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.